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Have your say  Difficulties forĀ First Nations People to access care for head and neck cancer

Thu 21, Dec 2017

Deadline: n/a
Who: Surgical Outcomes Research Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Are you an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person and would like to advise a study which looks at access to care for head and neck cancer for First Nations People?

The Sydney University-based Surgical Outcomes Research Centre is looking for a community member who identifies as Aboriginal to advise the Steering Committee for a PhD Project entitled "Pathways to diagnosis and treatment of patients with head and neck cancer in NSW".

Head and neck cancer is uncommon, but more than half of patients have advanced cancer when diagnosed. People from regional or remote areas, low socioeconomic status, and Indigenous backgrounds may experience more barriers, longer journeys to diagnosis and treatment, and lower survival rates. 

The aim of this project is to investigate diagnosis and referral pathways of people with head and neck cancer in New South Wales, and if longer times between the start of symptoms and being diagnosed and treated lead to more advanced cancer, and poorer survival.

The first part of this project will look at medical records of patients with head and neck cancer over a five-year period at metropolitan and regional sites in NSW.

A second study will involve speaking to newly diagnosed head and neck cancer patients and their carers, and asking them to complete a questionnaire. The questionnaires and interviews will look at the pathways to diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer, and explore what made these pathways easier or more difficult.

In both of the studies, we will investigate whether patients with an Indigenous background experience more difficulty accessing care for head and neck cancer by collecting data in Indigenous status. Therefore, we are seeking a consumer who identifies as Indigenous to provide guidance on this process, and who will advise us on understanding and reporting results.

The steering committee for this project will meet at least twice per year, for 1-2 hours between the hours of 8am and 5pm at a time convenient to all parties. The first meeting is planned for March 2018. Travel expenses will be covered.

To find out more or apply to become their health consumer representative contact: 

Rebecca Venchiarutti, Research Officer and PhD

Phone: (02) 9515 3209


photo credit: Rusty Stewart


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